Free yoga classes on Town Square are for the under served

Barbara Hootman

Yoga on the Square, a free hour of yoga that starts many residents’ weekends, starts Saturday, May 7 and will continue on Saturdays through August.

Organized by The Yoga Service Movement in Black Mountain, the free yoga classes from 9:30-10:30 will be held every Saturday, weather permitting, on Town Square. Incorporating a gentle, simple yoga, the classes are designed for people who not able to afford traditional yoga classes.

The Yoga Service Movement was founded last year by area residents Danielle Rotttenberg and Allison McLeod. Rottenberg has been a yoga and Ayurvedic wellness educator for more than 10 years. She has received honors for her dedication and vision in serving persons often marginalized and forgotten. Now she continues her passion of working with people who are underserved through yoga and mindfulness. She is developing a curriculum that most yoga teachers can follow in their own communities.

The Yoga Service Movement held yoga classes on the square last September, attracting about 30 people, Rottenberg said. “That is an incredible turnout,” she said, and one that indicates that some local residents cannot afford the price of yoga classes in the area.

McLeod is passionate about social outreach and activism. She has taught yoga for more than nine years and looks forward to working in the community through service yoga. Service yoga is a new emerging field with a “we are one” focus. McLeod also works with yoga teachers to help make yoga financially affordable for all.

“Town Square is the perfect place to enjoy being outside in the middle of Black Mountain,” McLeod said. “Practicing here reminds me how lucky I am to live here. I want to bring people together in the ways that I can, and give back to my community.”

The Yoga Service Movement is not new to the Valley. From September to November last year, Rottenberg and McLeod taught yoga to the Swannanoa Valley Christian Ministry staff. “We focused on reducing stress levels and helping combat what is called ‘compassion fatigue and burnout,’” Rottenberg said.

The Yoga Service Movement also conducts an hour of yoga each week for the ministry’s clients (see related story, Page 3A). It hopes to work with other nonprofit organizations serving the underserved in the community.

For more, visit or contact Rottenberg at 989-1220 or

Not a stretch

The Yoga Service Movement reaches out to ministry’s clients. Story next week.